Archaeological Heritage Office
The remains buried under Osaka University
This office is located in the Graduate School of Letters/School of Letters. Its purpose is to research archaeological cultural assets related to construction work on the campus premises.
The entire Toyonaka Campus is recorded in the remains register as the Machikaneyama Remains, and the area around Osaka University, Nakanoshima Center in Kita-ku, Osaka, is known for being the Kurayashiki (warehouse) center of the Edo period. Recent research has discovered remains buried under the Suita Campus, and these were named the Yamadaoka Remains. We have a responsibility to protect and utilize these unearthed remains and relics as common property of the citizens.
At Osaka University, we have set up an Archaeological Cultural Asset Committee for the preservation of cultural assets on the campus and the investigation of architectural plans. The investigation of remains on the premises is being discussed based on the policies of the Cultural Properties Protection Law, and the actual investigation is being conducted by the Archaeological Cultural Asset Research Office. Currently, one specialist and two staff members with concurrent posts are investigating.
Investigative Research and Utilizing the Artifacts
The Archaeological Cultural Asset Research Office has conducted excavations of the Machikaneyama Remains, Yamadaoka Remains, and Kurume Kurayashiki Remains and has made a number of research achievements.
Particularly, in the lengthy excavation of the Machikaneyama Remains, it became apparent that the Machikaneyama area was used as a cemetery from the Kofun period to the Nara and Heian period, and even into the medieval and modern periods.
From the investigation of 2005, initiated upon the commencement of road maintenance work at Machikaneyama, a late fifth century tomb (Machikaneyama Fifth Tomb) was found along with one of the largest cremation ground in Osaka Prefecture. Unearthed clay figurines, earthenware, and human bones have been analyzed, and the report was issued in 2008.
Moreover, in 2011 an excavation was conducted on the north side of the Museum of Osaka University Shugakukan Building; cremation remains and ancient earthen coffins were found. An idea of the whole of the Machikaneyama Remains became clear through these steady investigations. Furthermore, a selection of excavated artifacts is exhibited at the Museum of Osaka University.
At the Archaeological Cultural Asset Research Office, efforts for outreach activities have taken a part in the daily investigations and research of archaeological cultural assets. In addition to exhibitions clarifying the assets at the Museum of Osaka University, the investigation achievements are widely shared with interested citizens through lectures presented at high schools and regional history clubs.
Professor Shinya Fukunaga (concurrent)
Professor Teruhiko Takahashi (concurrent)
Assistant Professor Tatsuo Nakakubo